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UK Fintech News Roundup: The Latest Stories 31/05

Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Proactis, ORX, Sumsub and Elifinty.

Liquidity concerns are on the rise for firms in the UK

cash flow UKOver half (53 per cent) of larger firms in the UK are delaying or freezing supplier payments to try and protect cash flow and preserve liquidity; revealed new research by spend management and B2B e-commerce solution provider Proactis.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps announced a review into payment practices in December aimed at protecting small businesses. There is over £23.4billion currently owed in outstanding invoices to UK businesses.

Ilija Ugrinic, commercial solutions director at Proactis, discussed the findings: “The payment squeeze is yet another symptom of the challenging trading environment facing businesses. Cost pressures are prompting many to closely watch their cash flow as reduced liquidity threatens even the most vital payments.

“It is often a last resort, and there are more proactive ways to approach the challenge. Digital finance processes can dramatically influence the flow of payments and visibility of expenditure – if more companies turned to digital solutions rather than enforcing payment squeezes, there would be far less pressure on businesses everywhere.”

ORX launches greenwashing toolkit

greenwashing UKORX, the operational risk management firm, has launched a greenwashing toolkit to support global banks and insurers create a greenwashing scenario – responding to the rapidly growing regulatory and societal focus on climate-related transition risks.

The toolkit was developed following the request of ORX service users, including some of the largest financial institutions globally. Less than ten of the 65 subscribers to ORX’s dedicated scenarios service, ORX Scenarios, have developed a greenwashing scenario to date, yet the majority are reporting a significant increase in pressure to create a dedicated scenario for this rapidly evolving risk area.

Simon Johnson, scenarios senior manager at ORX, explained: “As the world turns its attention to the urgent threat of climate change, regulators and society are demanding greater accountability from financial organisations. This heightened scrutiny brings with it a new set of risks; including greenwashing.

“The reality is that whilst this is a relatively new risk, what financial institutions say and do today could have repercussions ten years down the line on their reputation and threats of legal action to name but two impacts.”

Deepfakes fraud cases increase

deepfake UKIn Great Britain and Europe, the proportion of deepfakes among all fraud cases grew considerably from 2022 to Q1 2023, jumping from 1.2 per cent to 5.9 per cent in the UK; verification platform Sumsub has revealed in its latest report.

Meanwhile, in Europe, deepfakes rose from 1.5 per cent to 7.6 per cent in Germany, and from 0.5 per cent to five per cent in Italy. Last quarter, the top three fraud types in both the UK and EU were identity document forgery (40 per cent of all fraud in Britain and Italy, and over 25 per cent in Germany and Spain), liveness bypass (about 13 to 16 per cent of all fraud cases) and edited ID card (14 to 16 per cent in the UK, France and Germany).

Pavel Goldman-Kalaydin, head of AI and ML at Sumsub, discussed the report: “Deepfakes have become easier to make and, consequently, their quantity has multiplied, as is also evident from the statistics. To create a deepfake, a fraudster uses a real person’s document, takes a photo of it and turns it into a 3D persona.

“Anti-fraud and verification providers who do not work constantly to update deepfake detection technologies are lagging behind and put both businesses and users at risk. Upgrading deepfake detection technology is an essential part of modern effective verification and anti-fraud systems”.

Elfinity launches in the UK

maze money challengesFinancial wellness fintech Elifinty has launched, providing UK consumers and creditors with the tools needed to manage problem debt and to help consumers develop a sustainable financial future.

Elifinty also brings EliHUB, an end-to-end consumer debt management platform, to market. Elifinty has initially rolled out EliHUB in the London borough of Southwark and Lambeth, and will soon welcome all UK consumers to its platform.

Maysam Rizvi, founder and CEO of Elifinity, said: “It’s unbelievable that until now, customers had nowhere to turn to receive fast and tailored advice for their financial problems despite the advances we’ve made in the financial sector through open banking.

“We have used open banking to make it easy for people to get an online bank account, the best mortgage deal or a loan in a matter of minutes – why not use open banking to give people fast and tailored financial advice too? We also provide businesses such as utility providers, housing associations and banks with access to open data, so they make an informed and direct connection to their customers and offer debt management support that works for them.”

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